tv 2020 ABC April 12, 2019 9:00pm-11:00pm PDT
all those rageful feelings, how dare she? she's mine. she's supposed to stay innocent for me. i'm going to permanently possess you by taking your life. ♪ one way or another i'm going to find you ♪ >> he was fixated on rebecca schaeffer. >> she was on the brink of stardom. >> there is a brand new face on television this year. >> she looked like she could be my sister and she was good. >> look, i'm getting fan mail. wait a minute, you're answering them back? you don't that. >> this flicked some sort of
evil flip inside john bardo. >> rebecca schaeffer doing a love scene with an actor. and he felt totally betrayed. how dare she. >> this animal got her address from the dmv. paid 5 or $10 and was handed the information on rebecca schaeffer. this guy followed her. guy went to her condo. she opened the door and he shot her and killed her and she's dead? what? >> how can this happen? >> this murder was a momentous crime. >> it changed the way actors in hollywood went about their lives. >> one of the most interesting aspects of hollywood is the motion picture industry. >> hollywood, for generations
the place where people have come from all over the country to make their dreams come true. rebecca schaeffer would come here one day to make her own stardom dreams come true. >> rebecca lucile schaeffer was born in 1967 in oregon. she was the only child of benson schaeffer, who was a child psychologist, and danna schaeffer, who was a writer. she spent her early years, the family did, in eugene. >> we were very lucky as a family. each of us had a very close relationship with rebecca. this is a picture of me holding rebecca when she was probably
3 to 4 months old. and what can i say? i adored her. she was sort of a mystery because if she wanted to do something, she could do it. rebecca was a very easy child to raise. when she was 2 1/2, her mother said, "do you think that you could keep your diaper dry?" that was toilet training. i mean, that was it. nothing else happened after that. >> and when she was 6, i taught her to ride. so she really sort of learned by looking and doing, and it was easy. when she was in fifth grade, we said to her, "we think you should get good grades." and she said, "why?" and we said, "because we want you to." she said, "okay."
and she got good grades. >> even three decades later, it's still very hard for rebecca schaeffer's parents to talk about what happened. >> rebecca and i met in the fourth grade. very outgoing. silly sometimes. she was a small person in terms of her physicality, but a big person in terms of her personality. we were outside a lot. we would take pictures of each other. she liked to pose. one of them is rebecca hanging out upside-down out of the back of a tree in our yard. we did a lot of that. she was definitely one of my very best friends. we had a really fun going away >> then, around 1980, they moved to portland, which is where rebecca wound up going to high school. >> she was always in the center of the popular group. i don't actually think that she tried to be there.
it was there. she was interested in drama. and so she had the lead in "the witness for the prosecution." she really wanted to be an actress. when she was 14, someone said, "you really ought to be modeling." >> in the mid-'80s, i had an agency here in portland, oregon, and i represented actors and models. one day this little girl walked in. fresh faced, just magical, effervescent, charismatic. and before she even said a word, i just knew she had it. >> rebecca has found some success modeling in and around portland, but at the age of 16, she decides to make the big leap. she's gonna pack up, leave her family and move on her own across the country to new york city to peruse her dreams.
>> you can see her in the taxi here. that was an extremely happy time for her. i mean, she was doing what she liked. one day she said to me, "do you remember what you said to me, dad?" i said, "what did i say to you?" she said, "sometimes you have to choose between adventure and regret." >> i had an actress who was in new york named barbara lusch. i said, "barbara, i'm sending this little girl to new york, and i really need you to watch out for her." >> when rebecca and i were in new york together, she was 16. and that is so young. this was a big adventure for her, and things were going well. >> so she's in new york. she's modeling, and she's also going on auditions, looking for acting work. in the mid '80s, soap operas were a huge staple of television.
millions and millions of viewers. they're covered in various magazines. so rebecca goes on one particular audition, for the soap opera "one life to live," and she gets the job. >> it's not like we know each other real well or anything. >> annie, i mean, come on. would you get yourself together? i mean, aren't you liberated or anything? >> liberated enough to tell you where you can get off, buddy. >> she was signed on a contract for a recurring role on that, and she loved working on it. >> ironically in this scene, rebecca's character is being watched by an intruder who has snuck into her house. a melodramatic storyline that's typical of a soap opera from that era. >> my father and irene, they're in his bed. >> i played victoria lord, lots of last names, on "one life to live," the abc daytime drama, for 42 years.
i worked with rebecca in 1984. she was remarkably good for somebody at that age. >> i thought i had friends here. >> you do have friends here. >> no, i don't. it's only on the surface, dan. >> she had a certain -- a presence and a confidence that exudes on the screen. >> she then is catapulted into the big time by landing a roll on a primetime show called "my sister sam." it's a huge, huge break. >> life isn't this good. i must be dreaming. >> landing a soap and then transitioning to primetime was almost unheard of, especially for somebody that young. >> i do remember when she got "my sister sam." and i remember when i got the phone call, and then we met. and it was super exciting. >> i kind of get a kick out of having my kid sister live with me. i mean, of course it has its disadvantages.
>> curfew. >> she was just right. she was just right. she looked like she could be my sister. >> but sadly, her breakout role would lead to disaster. >> the first time there was a problem, rebecca and i were sitting in her trailer and we got a call from the guard saying, "there's a man here who says he has presents for you, and he's saying that he knows you." i didn't think anything about it. she didn't think anything about it. liberty mutual customizes your car insurance, so you only pay for what you need. nice! but uh, what's up with your partner? oh! we just spend all day telling everyone how we customize car insurance because no two people are alike, so... limu gets a little confused when he sees another bird that looks exactly like him. ya... he'll figure it out. only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪ rheumatoid arthritis or psoriatic arthritis.
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♪ >> pam dawber by the mid-80s was a household name. she starred opposite robin williams in "mork and mindy," which was a massive hit in the late-'70s, early-'80s. >> who are you? >> i am mork from mork. nanu nanu. >> in addition to her sitcom fame, pam dawber was dating mark harmon, who she would go on to marry. he was on a show called "st. elsewhere" playing a doctor. he was "people" magazine's sexiest man alive in 1986. they were primetime television royalty.
>> in 1986, pam dawber was in the market with a new -- a new sitcom that was eventually going to be called "my sister sam." and pam dawber needed a kid sister to play opposite her. >> we searched and searched and search for that patti character. and then, at the end, we became so desperate because we just weren't finding the right person. when rebecca came in, it was just clear she was the one. >> hi, i'm patti russel and this is my sister sam. i just moved in. >> we haven't lived together since we were kids. >> i was raised by our aunt and uncle. >> things sure have changed. i used to dress her. i can't wear this out in public! >> this makes up for the haircut you gave me when i was 3. >> the set up for "my sister sam" was pretty classic '80s stuff. pam dawber is a freelance photographer living in san francisco. very successful. ♪ everything starts like a knock at the door ♪ ♪ you don't know what it is but you know who it's for ♪ her younger sister then comes to
live with her because their parents have died. so it becomes a, kind of, story of generational conflict. >> patti, i'm just doing what i really think is the best thing for you. >> oh, don't say that. >> what? >> i'm only doing what's best for the child. >> patti russel is hyper, smart, 16 and, um, kind of -- she wants to be different, but she wants to fit in like any normal teenager. >> we just hit it off. she just had a very natural quality. and plus, she just was so cute. she was a kid. she was a kid. she was 18. and i moved her into my house because she didn't have anywhere to stay, really. >> she was new to hollywood, and her parents were not with her. so she became a kind of parent. >> so you were roomates? >> so we were roommates. i drove her car. i ate her food. i, you know, raided her ice box for ice cream. she was great. >> i thought it was a good idea
because she and i would become familiar with each other, and she was very open to it. so she became my little sister for a few months. >> yeah. it makes a difference, you know, when you have a strong relationship off camera, obviously on camera. it's gonna do wonders. >> you know, the show is dated it was in the '80s after all. but our stuff, the stuff that rebecca and i did together, that was good stuff 'cause it was real. >> here we go. rate your mate. you don't have a mate. >> they were great together. pam was fine being the uptight, stiff one, and rebecca was great playing the rebellious teenager. it was a family show. at the heart of that family was rebecca schaeffer because everyone wants her as a sister. it was a real natural talent. >> there was a chemistry between all of us. everybody was part of everybody's life.
it was the most amazing experience for her to have, for rebecca to have as a first time. >> we were a hit show. but we were sandwiched between "kate and allie" and "the bob newhart show." and so, we got good ratings. >> once she was on that show, obviously, there was a fair amount of attention connected to her. "seventeen" magazine. >> it'd be like being on the cover of "vogue." you know, for a young girl to be on the cover of "seventeen," it was a very special thing. >> she and pam dawber were on the cover of "tv guide." >> "tv guide" had 40 million readers a week. it was the number one magazine in america. >> when you're popular enough, the "tv guide" wants to put you on the cover. these are the golden moments that don't happen very often. and so for rebecca, i was thrilled. >> and it didn't really phase her. it was just like another day. did not go to her head, at all.
>> rebecca schaeffer was the loyal cbs soldier. she did whatever was necessary to promote that show. >> welcome to toronto, this is rebecca schaeffer. >> of "my sister sam," and i'm david rapaport. >> she was on cbs' coverage of thanksgiving day parades across north america. >> happy thanksgiving. i'm rebecca schaeffer and real excited to be doing this parade. >> while rebecca was finding success as an actress, she began a relationship with ucla film student brad silberling, whom she'd met on a blind date. silberling would go on to become a successful hollywood director. >> at that point, i was 23. she was 19. we got serious very quickly to the point where it scared the hell out of us. and, you know, we were driving around, months later, and she's looking at houses saying, "oh, we could be there. we could be there." she didn't perceive herself as a celebrity. she didn't live that way.
i don't know if i ever heard the term "fame" come out of her mouth. i think the whole nature of celebrity was something, maybe it was just outside of her interests. >> she was busy living her life and meeting people and having friends, and you know, she had a boyfriend. the one thing we did say to her though -- "you're on a hit show. we're probably gonna go. we're gonna on this show for a while. you never put your real name on your mail box. rebecca, never put your real name on your mail box." and she said, "okay, okay, okay. i won't. i won't. it'll be fine. i won't." i was giving her that advice 'cause i had had my own stalking problems. i mean, i literally had police helping me at one point, earlier on, way before "my sister sam." because i had a potentially dangerous stalker. and so i never had my addresses
ever on my driver's license. so that you can't be found. >> she was wise beyond her years, but she was naive in some ways because she was very trusting. she had such an open heart. >> look, sam, a letter from e.e. >> the first time i saw her answering fan letters. she said, "look, look, i'm getting fan mail. and it's great. and they're telling me their problems, and i'm answering them back. and it's wonderful." and i went, "wait a minute. you're answering them back? you can't do that." and she says, "oh, no, but i love it. and it's really fun for me, and they want to be friends." and i went, "wait, they're not your friends." >> she was very responsible, if you will, about trying to respond to fan mail. celebrity's a one-way relationship, often. and so that seemed odd to her. and i think she felt a desire to respond in kind. >> i told her, "i understand that this is the first time you've experienced this.
the only thing you can do is sign a picture with no special note. that's it. you can't answer anything because there are people out there who will misinterpret a letter like you're their best friend." i said, "don't do this." i said, "it's very dangerous. promise me you won't." and she didn't promise me. ♪ smooth moderate to severe lines around the nose and mouth with juvéderm® xc. tell your doctor if you have a history of scarring or are taking medicines that decrease the body's immune response or that can prolong bleeding. common side effects include injection-site redness, swelling, pain, tenderness, firmness, lumps, bumps, bruising, discoloration or itching. as with all fillers, there is a rare risk of unintentional injection into a blood vessel, which can cause vision abnormalities, blindness, stroke, temporary scabs or scarring. juvéderm it. ♪
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rebecca schaeffer, it's the highest rated new series of cbs and the network has now renewed it for next year. you've got to be happy you're on television with "my sister sam." >> yes. >> it's like a skyrocket for your young career, isn't it? >> it's gone great so far, i really like working on the show. >> her life is experiencing one breakthrough after another while her career is growing and growing. meanwhile in tucson there's a 19-year-old man who seems to be going nowhere. he's a custodian in a fast food restaurant. he's a loner. he has no friends. >> robert bardo was a troubled young man. there's a history of a troubled childhood. he had threatened neighbors and schoolmates. there is some indication that he had been picked on and abused. >> robert bardo became enamored with rebecca schaeffer because of "my sister sam." >> back in the summer of 1986, when i was watching tv shows
like "magnum p.i.," the commercial for "my sister sam" came up and that's when i first saw her. >> i kind of get a kick out of having my kid sister living with me. i mean of course it has its disadvantages. >> that's what got me curious about her then i'd watch the show and she's very outgoing and bubbly and everything. >> what we find is the ones that are perceived as more approachable, likable, down to earth, innocent even, those tend to be the people that some stalkers get focused in upon. >> i had videotaped the show on vhs. i had videotaped parts of when she was on the cbs parades. >> good morning, and welcome to detroit. this little cutie pie next to me is rebecca schaeffer, she is patti russel on "my sister sam" on cbs. >> hi. this handsome guy next to me is joe penny. >> she's with an actor joe penny and they were hosting the thanksgiving parade for cbs. >> robert john bardo wrote an number of fans letters to rebecca schaeffer and she responded to one of them by
saying, "yours was one of the nicest that i got." >> in bardo's mind, this letter and this picture confirms for him what he had been believing or hoping, that she reciprocates these feelings for him. >> so ultimately, his sort of, you know, fandom of rebecca schaeffer becomes worship of rebecca schaeffer. and then it becomes an obsession. and eventually he decides he has to meet her. >> the summer of 1987, i took a plane there to the burbank airport and then it took me, i took a taxi. i had -- i rented a weekly hotel, and i tried to see her at the warner brothers studios. >> he's carrying flowers and a teddy bear, and he wants to meet rebecca schaeffer. he goes to a security guard. he tells them to call her. they do. >> it was a regular shooting
day. i was in the trailer, and we got a phone call from the guard that there was a guy at the gate who had some flowers and presents and he said that he was a friend of hers and that he was supposed to come. she didn't know anything about it. i said, "no, send him away. we don't know who he is." i didn't think anything about it, she didn't think anything about it. >> and he was met at the gate by the head of security and said, "no, you cannot go onto the set. you cannot meet with her." go home. >> and i was just frustrated, and it hit me hard 'cause i wasn't expecting that. i didn't understand it. it made me feel bad. >> but bardo would not be deterred. he would come back again. >> then i was there the second time he did it, and i was told that he was very agitated and very, very angry.
>> it's hard to believe now, but no one alerted the police. no alarm bells went off. meanwhile rebecca continued to film "my sister sam" but in its second season, the ratings plummeted. >> "my sister sam" was cancelled mainly because it was moved from a great time slot and put it on saturday night against "facts of life it had no chance. >> everybody was sad. but life's an adventure. and she was off on her adventure. >> that adventure included movies like "the end of innocence." written and directed by dyan cannon. in it, she plays a young dyan cannon. >> so does this mean that i'm not a virgin? >> yeah. >> i hate you. >> dyan cannon is an actress, both comedienne and dramatic actress, who made several big movies. she was also famous for the fact that she was married to cary
grant late in his life, one of his last wives. and is the mother of his only child. >> i was looking for someone to play me at 18. this bright, little light walks in the room, "hi, i'm rebecca." it was just an immediate connection. you don't have that with everybody. that's a rare thing. but she was rare. >> john just sat and read the paper all day. martha just ate. >> i'm still hungry. >> i had many scenes with my battle with food. she just handled it so exquisitely and was so honest, and so real. and sometimes it would make me cry, and sometimes it would make me laugh. i think she was very optimistic and upbeat and very excited about what her future held. >> becca had a very serious boyfriend, brad silberling, and he was just crazy about her. they were both very young and in love. >> when i met her, she lived up
in laurel canyon. she was all the way up at the very top of lookout mountain, which is a really sweet and quiet spot. eventually she moved to the apartment on sweetzer. >> it was a white, two-story apartment complex that looked like a tudor house. >> it was a really cute apartment, and it was just filled with eclectic things. just you know, super comfortable. and you know she loved to read and she loved to write in her journals and do yoga. >> the concern she had was it would be like, you know, the country mouse moving to the city. and the first couple nights she was there, there were lots of noises and sounds, and she'd grab a kitchen knife and call me in the middle of the night saying ahh. it was adjusting to, "oh, i've moved into the heart of west hollywood." >> we did talk a lot about her fears. she talked about her love for her parents and what it would be to lose them because you talk about things that matter when you're scared.
>> she did a made for tv movie called "voyage of terror: the achille lauro affair." she played a young woman on this cruise ship that gets hijacked by terrorists. it's a drama ripped from the headlines. rebecca had no way of knowing that just months later, she herself would be the subject of headlines. >> help. somebody help me. i don't think many people actually know the level of science that's filled into that bottle. back in time, it took carlsberg several years to produce a new beer. but using microsoft artificial intelligence, we will be able to detect new flavors in a split second and develop better beers faster. with ai, we redefine what's possible. so cheers!
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>> thank you, quiet. and action. >> one of the things that if you're rebecca schaeffer, you're thinking about is, "how can i do a role that's a little different from how people know me?" that's what you're supposed to do in your career. >> and she gets a big part in a movie called "scenes from the class struggle" in beverly hills. >> my idea of taking a risk is losing my birth control pills or shopping at saks without a sale. >> and which has a love scene in it. >> you need to get a girlfriend before you turn into a pervert. >> which is a break from her character that she had played on "my sister sam." >> and this flicked some sort of evil switch inside robert john bardo. >> that's what happens in the mind of stalkers. they sit on their sofa. they watch television. and the person's character speaks to them. and then at some point, they get off their sofa.
and they go to the door. >> and here's where you need to hit the pause bottom. because you can't tell the story -- fully tell the story of rebecca schaeffer without first telling the story of theresa saldana, another actress who lived in the same west hollywood neighborhood years before. >> theresa saldana was an extraordinary actor. her big break came with scorsese in "raging bull" playing joe pesci's wife. >> change that diaper. can't you see? look, she's crying. she stinks. >> you got a great role. you're in a scorsese film. and isn't this wonderful? and then the horror of your life happens. >> actress teresa saldana who appeared in the movie "raging bull" was brutally attacked and almost killed outside her los angeles home. >> this was back in the '80s before there were any stalking laws whatsoever. and there was a drifter from scotland, arthur jackson. >> i was attacked. a man saw me in a film called
"defiance" which i starred in opposite jan michael vincent. >> and in his mind, "oh, she's going to be mine." >> i have to get to work. >> he felt that god had ordained them to be together. >> while arthur richard jackson was deranged, he was also cunning. and so jackson set out to find a way to get to theresa saldana. he hired a private investigator to try to find out where she lived. what this private investigator was able to give jackson was the unlisted phone number of saldana's mother. and so jackson called saldana's mother pretending to be martin scorsese's assistant and saying that he had a package, perhaps a script, that needed to be delivered to theresa saldana. what was her address? and so unknowingly, theresa saldana's mother gave arthur richard jackson her daughter's address. >> he showed up.
but he didn't show up with flowers or candy. he showed up with a very sharp knife. and he confronted her and started violently stabbing her. >> and she played the lead in a dramatization of her own story. >> one of the unique things about "victims for victims" is that you have the actress who really experienced the horror event. and she's playing herself. >> it was unprecedented for theresa saldana to be in a movie, to star as herself, as a victim of a knife attack that almost killed her. that's what so unusual. but her motive was to help people, to warn people, to say, "if it can happen to me, it could happen to you." >> on march 15th, i was
delivering water when i heard a female screaming. and i could see a crowd gathering in the middle of hayworth avenue. >> i don't know how many times she was sliced by this guy. but multiple people watching everywhere, nobody doing anything. >> quite frankly it pissed me off. i grabbed him from behind, not knowing he had a knife, until he pulled the knife out of her chest. then he turned it on me. at that point, it was a point of no return. i had to fight with him, took the knife away from him. it's hard to describe. i was just doing the right thing. i think her quote was, "i saw a blonde angel." i guess that was me unless there was some angel behind me that i didn't see. >> it was an absolute miracle that theresa saldana survived the attack.
>> theresa never blamed her mother. it was very important for theresa to try to absolve her mother from any blame. the mother surely felt blame. any guilt. but again, the way the story was presented to the mom, she thought she was doing theresa a favor. she thought that she was helping theresa's career. she's gonna get her in touch with this big-time director who's gonna give her the role of a lifetime. >> and she wound up continuing to succeed as an actor. she was an example of someone who the worst thing in the world happened to, gathered her strength and worked not only on behalf of herself but on behalf of others in the same situation. >> arthur jackson served 15 years in prison and eventually died in the psych ward in 2004. but his blueprint for deception would live on and inspire robert bardo to use the very same plan. >> yeah, the teresa saldana case
i read about that in "people" magazine. and that's where i got the idea to hire the private investigator. >> there is this tendency, by the way, for the stalkers to copy one another, study one another. >> so he hired a private investigator who went to the dmv and obtained rebecca schaeffer's home address. it was very, very simple. >> in his diary, bardo wrote -- i have an obsession with the unattainable. and i need to destroy that which i cannot obtain. >> he got himself a greyhound bus ride all the way up from tucson, arizona, where he lived, to los angeles. and then found himself outside of rebecca schaeffer's sweetzer avenue apartment on the morning of july 18th, 1989. he said he just wanted to meet her, but his intentions were much worse than that. ♪ hey allergy muddlers...
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i feel myself changing already. >> so that summer of 1989, rebecca was looking for her next big role. she'd been in a couple of movies, and she was moving up as a lot of young actors and actresses try to do. >> she was on the verge of being a huge star, but she was already a huge star. >> somebody help me. >> we were just looking for the next thing. >> and there was one role that was on the mind of every actress in hollywood in the summer of 1989. >> i'm going to make him an offer he can't refuse. >> and that was the role of mary corleone in "the godfather part iii." it was the talk of the town. >> i don't want to hear about it. i don't want to hear about it. >> al pacino returning as michael corleone, kay once again being played by diane keaton, and their daughter mary, at the center, that would make the
whole film work. >> madonna reportedly wanted it. so did winona ryder. >> so who would play the daughter? >> rebecca called, excited to tell us that she was to be auditioning for "godfather iii." >> it was huge for rebecca to get an audition for a movie like "godfather iii." >> it was a meeting with francis ford coppola himself. and "godfather iii," oh, my goodness. >> she was ironic, and she could see how funny it was that basically she'd been in los angeles an hour and a half, and now she was heading toward "the godfather." >> i knew she would get that role. that was her role. >> i remember the last time i spoke to rebecca was the day before "the godfather iii" audition. >> i talked to her the day before. we talked for quite a while, how exciting this was. >> how important it was.
how excited she was. >> we were both giggling. and i said, "i'll talk to you afterwards. tell me how it went." >> you don't think whenever you talk to somebody that it's gonna be the last time. >> on the morning of july 18th, 1989, she was awaiting the delivery of the script for "godfather iii," so that she could be prepared when she met with coppola that afternoon. >> this was a day that every actor dreams of. she was expecting a courier to deliver a script to her. >> you can imagine how excited she was, awaiting this script that everyone in hollywood wanted to read, but that nobody knew anything about. >> as rebecca is getting ready for her meeting with francis ford coppola, she has no idea that her stalker is enraged over a love scene she had done in a movie. >> all those rageful feelings. "how dare she? she's mine.
she's supposed to stay innocent for me." that gets converted into a plan of cold-blooded revenge. "i'm going to punish you, and i'm going to permanently possess you by taking your life." >> and he was making his way to los angeles to confront her. >> embarking on a highly organized plan of how he's going to do this. >> robert bardo attempted to buy a firearm in his hometown of tucson, arizona. >> he decided he was going to go and get a gun. no more teddy bears, no more flowers, this was it. >> to the credit of the gun store owner, hcesothg s wrong w mr. bardo and he asked some probing questions. >> he said bardo revealed his history of mental illness. >> so the gun store owner realized that he is a prohibited possessor and not legally able to purchase firearms, so he
wouldn't sell him a gun. >> in fact, he went so far as to post mr. bardo's photograph on the wall inside the gun store. >> he went home and talked his brother, edward, into going to the store and purchasing the gun. >> his brother didn't know what was going on. he just thought, "oh, he'll do some target shooting." and edward told robert, "you can't use it unless i'm with you." >> his brother bought him a gun when he was 19 years old, someone with mental issues. incomprehensible to me. >> robert bardo obtained hollow-point bullets. >> he read somewhere that the victim won't stand a chance. a hollow-point bullet goes into a victim and explodes inside the victim. >> mr. bardo hired a private investigator and was able to obtain ms. schaeffer's home address. >> because, in his cunning way, he had learned from the story of theresa saldana that a private
investigator had helped her assailant to discover where she lived. >> she was apparently attacked by a man who had been stalking her, a persistent fan. >> and he thought, "oh, that's a great idea." so he hired a private investigator. >> he gave them a small sum of money. >> the private investigator went to dmv, paid $5 or $10. >> as was perfectly legal back then, they were able to tell him the exact address of where rebecca schaeffer lived. >> and they would just hand him her address? i was ballistic with rage. they provided that. >> mr. bardo informed his sister that he was coming to california to see miss schaeffer to "save her." >> i don't think she realized what he was going to do. she just thought, "oh, it's robert." >> robert john bardo gets on a greyhound bus. >> and he takes it overnight
with his bag and a gun and arrives early in the morning and makes his way to her place. >> so the mindset is, "if i can't have you, nobody else can, so that we are forever intertwined together by this fate." >> there were so many red flags with robert bardo. wanting to purchase the gun. the statements that he made to his sister. his family, they were aware that he was coming to california to seek out rebecca schaeffer. but i think in their minds, they weren't aware of how dangerous this man could be. >> the tragedy of july 18th, 1989, is that two people have it in their minds to get to rebecca schaeffer's apartment that day. one is a courier with a script for "the godfather iii." the other is her deranged stalker. one she is expecting. one she is expecting. one she is not.
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>> rebecca schaeffer's case still haunts hollywood and it always will. >> he didn't give her a chance. he shot her point blank. >> so the mind set is, if i can't have you, nobody else can. >> he was screaming, i killed rebecca schaeffer. >> why, why, why? >> the impact of her murder was enormous. >> stalking hasn't dimi in fact it's on the rise. >> i don't think any celebrity is immune to a stalker. >> i'm going to fight to bring her killer to justice. ♪ one way or another
>> it was the morning of july 18th, 1989. >> it was said to be a sunny and warm day in los angeles and 70 degrees. people are waking up to the headlines of the day. >> good morning, everyone. i'm joan lunden. >> the headlines that morning include the fact that it's the first flight of the stealth bomber. >> the plane began taxiing into position just after sunrise. >> president george h.w. bush's visit overseas. >> i've found an enormous amount of excitement. >> and stories about the economy. >> two very positive reports on the economy today. >> but later that day, the headlines will change. a tragedy will unfold in hollywood involving a young actress. >> in july of 1989, rebecca schaeffer was a young actress on the rise. >> this was not just some cute, little actress. this was a very special talent. >> she was still just 21 years old. she'd already done two seasons on a sitcom called "my sister sam" with pam dawber. ♪ don't trust an evil heart ♪
>> and now she was living in los angeles and auditioning for movies with a bright career ahead of her. she had an excellent agent, and her prospects were superb at that moment. >> that morning, rebecca schaeffer is getting ready for the audition of her life that could change the direction of her career. >> she was about to audition for the most coveted role of 1989. the role of mary corleone, daughter of michael and kay in "the godfather part iii." >> to be asked to audition for "godfather iii," directed by coppola, was extraordinary. >> as she's getting ready for this meeting that might change her life, she has no idea that her stalker, armed with a gun, has just gotten off a bus in los angeles and is making his way to her apartment. >> i left her at her doorstep the night before.
i think we had gone to see a movie together. would have been staying over, but i -- i had something else that morning. and so that's the -- you know, who knows what might have been. >> the morning of july 18th, rebecca and i spoke on the phone. we were going to a concert that night. and so we were just talking about our plans and when we were going to meet and what we were going to eat beforehand. >> robert bardo went to the address he had been given by his private investigator -- rebecca schaeffer's apartment. >> he had a bag with him that had a number of items. >> robert has the card that she sent and her photograph. >> and then he's got a copy of the book "the catcher in the rye." >> mark david chapman, when he shot john lennon, also had a copy of "the catcher in the rye," which has spoken to alienated youth from the moment it was published in the '50s. >> he's walking up and down the street, and he's asking neighbors about her, showing the photograph.
>> this young man stopped me. and he had his manila envelope. and he had a picture on the front of a young woman. he stopped me and said, "have you seen this girl in the neighborhood?" and he looked really weird. he looked kind of demonic or something. and i didn't give him any information. i just said, "what," and kept on walking. >> but let's face it. it's hollywood. someone strange walking up and down the sidewalk isn't that unusual, so no one thought to call the police. >> so bardo shows up early in the morning. he rings the buzzer. >> she was expecting a script to be delivered. >> rebecca is awaiting a copy of the script of "godfather part iii" in anticipation of her meeting later that day. >> the intercom in her building was broken. >> instead of being able to talk to somebody over the intercom, she had to come down and open the door. >> rebecca was the kind of person -- she wouldn't think twice about going out. >> she didn't think there were people out there that would want to harm her.
>> and when she came down and opened the door, it was robert john bardo. >> to his surprise, she answers the door. >> i didn't have to shoot any security guards to get to her. i mean, she's right there in front of me. you know? like, she was just a regular person. she wasn't dressed up glamorously. >> he didn't think he was going to have that kind of access. i mean, he came here with a purpose, but until you actually see this person who's been on this pedestal, then it becomes very real. >> that's like most guys who fantasize about seeing their favorite celebrity, you know, and this was it. it's just me and her. talking to her, you know. >> robert bardo mumbled something about being her biggest fan, showed her the autographed photo that he had received in the mail. she politely excused herself, told mr. bardo that she had to get ready for an interview. >> she shakes his hand, wishes him well, and he goes on his way. and in some world, i guess, that's where the story ends. but it's not where the story ends, sadly, tragically. >> he goes around the corner to some sort of diner.
he orders onion rings and he seethes. something about this encounter has not satisfied what his dream of meeting rebecca schaeffer was supposed to be. >> he then went to the men's room, checked his gun to make sure it was loaded, and then decided to go back. in the meantime, he also called his sister from a payphone down the block saying, "you're gonna hear something about me," and was vague about it, but she didn't like what she was hearing and was trying to convince him to stop this and go home. >> 10:15. he's back at her apartment. >> he came back a second time. >> once again rebecca schaeffer is up in her apartment. >> he pushes the buzzer. >> once again because the intercom doesn't work, she is unable to determine who is at the front door. >> it could have been anyone. so she went downstairs again and opened the door, and there was bardo. and they speak very briefly. >> and now it's not a cordial encounter. now she has already dealt with him. she has other things to do. and she says to him -- this is his account we have to go
with -- she says to him, "you're wasting my time." she is correct. he is wasting her time. he would later say that that set him off somehow. that that one sentence somehow created what would take place in the next ten seconds. >> mr. bardo stated, "i forgot to give you something," withdrew a handgun from his waistband and shot her once in the chest, penetrating her heart. >> he didn't give her a chance. he just shot her point blank. >> my friend lived in the apartment adjoining the foyer and heard rebecca sobbing after she was shot, saying, "why me, why me?" my friend, she didn't know if it was safe to go out there, if the guy was still there, but she did anyway and found rebecca on the floor and stayed with her. the ambulance came, and rebecca died 30 minutes later.
>> this was such an extraordinary, ugly, horrible loss of an angel. >> rebecca had no idea. no idea that anything like this was going on. >> the lapd has a murder on their hands. >> neighbors have said they saw a man in a yellow shirt fleeing from the scene. >> police are hunting for a man who murdered a young actress. >> but nobody knows at this point who it is. >> so there's an all-out manhunt to finperson responsible r rebecca schaeffer's murder. (meg vo) i can see if my endometriosis pain gets better... or i can... (sherry vo) i can just suck it up... or i can...
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i was told that somebody went to her apartment and shot her. i couldn't believe it. you know, your body just -- i don't know what happens, totally fight or flight. and then finally i could cry, and somebody just put me in their arms, and i just cried for hours. >> and just, we couldn't believe it. >> it was the worst thing i ever heard. >> i heard about it on the radio. driving down the 405. i had heard that a young actress had been killed in hollywood. it came back on, the actress had been identified as
rebecca schaeffer. well, my reaction at that moment was pretty much what it is now. >> it fell on me to call danna and tell her. and it was -- it was the hardest thing i'd ever had to do, even 30 years later it's just -- >> danna got the call. i was at a workshop. she called my best friend, and she said, "go tell benson." he came in and he told me. i ran out screaming. i certainly wish that nobody has to experience that sort of horror.
we flew to los angeles. >> to see her parents at the hospital and what they were going through is the worst thing ever. danna said that she had to see rebecca, in the morgue, or she wouldn't believe it. she couldn't believe it. >> when i saw her, it was both rebecca and not rebecca. her body was there and her presence was not there. >> everybody who knew her, anyone who didn't know her, we were just horrified. people walked around saying, "how can this happen? how could you just walk up to somebody's house and shoot them?" >> police launched an air and
ground search this morning near the apartment of the murdered actress. no suspect was found. >> nobody knew anything, but that's the hardest thing, why this horrific thing had happened. they were interviewing the neighbors, trying to find out what happened. >> fearing for her own safety, a neighbor who wishes not to be identified said she was approached by a man early yesterday morning. the man was looking for schaeffer. >> he showed me the picture of her. he wasn't definitely looking for her. and that was 7:30 in the morning. >> it wasn't for until the next day that we knew who the person was. >> robert john bardo flees los angeles and goes back to tucson the same way he came, by bus. >> i was driving to work. it was about 8:00 in the morning. the call came in about a guy running in the roadway screaming at the intersection of the freeway in congress street. congress street is the main street into downtown. so i said, "i'm close. i'll go by." and then i got there, he was screaming, "i killed rebecca schaeffer."
screaming. so we secured him right away. did a little quick pat down and search on him, found a picture of rebecca schaeffer in his shirt pocket. he was disheveled looking. his clothes were dirty, his hair was a mess. it looked like he hadn't slept all night. we started putting two and two together. >> robert bardo was arrested this morning on a tucson freeway. he was running in and out of traffic at the time. sources tell us the 19-year-old bardo was obsessed with rebecca schaeffer. >> he's extradited from arizona to california, where he's arrested for the crime. >> when i found out how rebecca was murdered, i was staggered, because i don't think at that time we thought about stalking so much. this guy followed her? this guy went to her condo, and she opened the door, and he shot her and killed her and she's dead? what? i mean, in that time, was unthinkable.
>> we all went to rebecca's funeral in portland. it was a beautiful little wooden synagogue. >> it was standing room only. there were people standing outside as well. there was so much pain, and the pain i felt too was not at least from rebecca, the pain was for danna and benson, because you know this was their only child. >> my abiding memory is that danna, her mother, was in the front row. when they wheeled rebecca's casket in, they didn't put it in front of the congregation. they put it beside danna. her hand was on the casket for the entire service. she never let her go.
>> for me, i was still in a state of unreality. the world just seemed physically wrong. >> after talking to investigators here, the parents of slain actress rebecca schaeffer left the wilshire division of the lapd without comment to reporters. >> we went very quickly and met the detectives and met marcia clark, the prosecutor. >> i was pregnant with my first child at the time i met them and hoping i wasn't showing. i had to literally, like, breathe for a few moments before i met them, because i was feeling so much grief and so much pain on their behalf. i didn't know quite what to say to them. what do you say? this is so horrible i wanted to tell them, "i'm so, so sorry." i didn't know what more to say, other than i'm going to fight so hard to bring her killer to justice.
>> my impression was, "okay, she will do well by us." that was my feeling. >> so, as robert john bardo prepares to go on trial for the murder of rebecca schaeffer, much is still to happen. >> everyone is anticipating this trial, which is going to be full of revelations, including one involving a u2 song that his lawyers will say drove him to commit this act. getting dressed can be rough on sensitive skin. downy free & gentle has no perfumes, no dyes and softens clothes for sensitive skin. the only one trusted by the national psoriasis foundation.
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rebecca schaeffer's stalker, robert bardo, was a huge deal. it was covered wall-to-wall by newspapers and television. >> on "hard copy," hollywood's worst nightmare. >> now rebecca's accused killer is on trial. >> it was also the subject of an episode of "law & order." >> he accosted me on the street, and then i tried to get away. he told me to stop, and when i didn't, he attacked me. >> two years after rebecca schaeffer's murder, robert john bardo goes to trial. the prosecution waived the death penalty. >> the public defender had wanted to waive jury in exchange for not seeking the death penalty. >> this case will be decided not by a jury but by a judge. it was a gamble, but they believed they had a better shot with a judge than with a jury. bardo's admitting that he shot
rebecca schaeffer. it's not a whodunnit, it's a why. >> the defense was going to lean very heavily on a mental defense. so i had to prove that the murder was premeditated and that there were special circumstances in order to get a life without the possibility of parole sentence. >> the defense wasn't claiming insanity here and saying he should be found not guilty. he had a mental defect and could not have developed the necessary intent to commit the crime. >> the security guard who had turned bardo away from the gate at warner brothers, he testified. >> after quite a bit of talk, i proceeded to tell him that the best thing for him to do would be to stay away from the studio and not try to get near rebecca schaeffer. i said, "how did you get out here today from hollywood?" and he said, "i came out on the bus." i said, "well, i don't want to see you go back on the bus with
that five foot teddy bear." and i drove him back to his place on whitley street in hollywood, dropped him off. >> so at the trial the witnesses you would expect to hear from are called. the brother who bought robert john bardo the gun after bardo was turned away. >> his siblings actually had incredibly critical testimony to give that showed evidence of premeditation. when you purchased the gun, did he give you cash for the purchase? >> that's correct. >> do you recall how much it was? >> something over $200. >> shortly after he left, did you look to see if the gun was still in its place in the closet? >> i believe i did. >> did you ever see the gun again? >> no, i didn't. >> the fact that he got his brother to help him buy a gun, these were all ways in which to prove that he was actually thinking about killing. >> several other members of robert bardo's family took the stand, including his father, phillip. >> we happened to be watching the cnn news, and i heard that rebecca had been killed. and my first thought was that we couldn't believe it.
my son went and checked to see if the pistol was still in the house, and the pistol was gone. >> a neighbor would describe the sound of the weapon that killed rebecca schaeffer. >> i dropped to my knees because the blast rattled the door and sort of knocked me to my knees. and i heard the scream, one very loud, long scream. >> in an effort to prove that bardo is mentally ill, his lawyers call to the stand park dietz, a forensic psychiatrist who's no stranger to a courtroom. >> now, dr. dietz testified in the unabomber case. he testified in the jeffrey dahmer case, the serial killer. and he testified in the case of john hinckley jr., who shot ronald reagan. >> there were times when he was said to yell and to moan.
he compared himself to the family cat. he had told his counselor, mr. hickman, that he had compulsions to kill someone. he also wrote that when he listens to the radio, he is possessed by it. >> bardo goes through this trial largely in a kind of catatonic state, except for one strange moment when the defense plays a u2 song called "exit" and claims that bardo was somehow influenced in what he did by this u2 song. ♪ shining from above ♪ his hand in his pocket his finger on the steel ♪ ♪ the pistol weighted heavy his heart he could feel was beating ♪ >> for some reason this struck a chord with robert john bardo. >> i'll tell you, it's very interesting. marcia clark, she cross-examined a world renowned expert, a psychiatric expert, dr. park dietz, that he was testifying that mr. bardo shouldn't be found guilty of
murder because of a mental condition. >> so if a prospective patient is asked whether or not he hears voices, he may well adopt the suggestion and agree that he does, when in fact he does not. that can happen, can it not? >> it can happen, yes. >> so the fact that the defendant may have wanted to kill rebecca schaeffer if she was arrogant or because he felt she rejected him is not in itself evidence of a mental disorder or defect, is it? >> no, that isn't. >> i must say by the time dr. dietz got off the stand, i think even his knees were rattling a little bit. >> i grabbed the door, gun still in the bag, reached around, grabbed it on the trig, like this. phew. pow. >> his demeanor during those interviews was matter of fact. he shows no remorse, and there's not any sense that he saw anything wrong with what he had done. >> bullet hit her here.
she was just screaming. "why? why?" she was screaming. she was just straight screaming. "why? why?" >> i watched it a few times thinking, "wait, there's something here." and i watched it again, and i said, "wait a minute. he's holding his hand behind his back. that shows he was hiding his intent." that proves lying in wait. i've got my special circumstance." >> the evidence is more than sufficient to raise a reasonable doubt as to whether or not he had the intent to kill. i'm telling you that it's my position that robert bardo is not guilty of first-degree murder. >> he loaded the empty chamber, put the gun in his waistband, went to the door, rang the buzzer, stepped back and waited until rebecca shaeffer came out onto the porch, grabbed her arm, grabbed his gun from behind him and fired. >> robert bardo's fate was in the hands of one person,
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>> the best hope that the defense had was that a judge would look at this through a psychological prism as opposed to looking at it the way a jury might, which is to say, "he did it." >> is there anything distorted, so distorted about his motivation that would compel me to say that he cannot premeditate and deliberate? the answer is no. >> with no witnesses or the murder weapon, marcia clark still won a first-degree murder conviction for robert john bardo. >> i find the defendant guilty of first-degree murder. >> my reaction was relief. the family was relieved, too. >> it's over, it's over. he'll be in there for the rest of his life, thank god.
>> i'm sure it was a mixture of grief and sadness, and yet some satisfaction in justice. >> will it give you some peace? >> i think it will. >> i was happy for the verdict. okay, i won't have to deal with this. this guy is going to prison. >> robert john bardo was sentenced in december of 1991 to life in prison with no possibility of parole. >> he was going to go to prison, hopefully forever. >> during the trial, i watched him. just a tortured kid. he hated his life, and i just calmly said to him, "you know, your cowardice is going to haunt you the rest of your life." >> so abc news did reach out to robert john bardo, who continues to be incarcerated, and he responded to abc news by phone.
>> i accept full responsibility for what i've done. my thinking was so negative, and i was blaming others for things that were happening within me. but regarding rebecca schaeffer, she was irreplaceable. i think about her every day because she should be here. i realize what i've done, and i feel a lot of tremendous guilt. >> i've researched hundreds of celebrity stalking cases and consulted to many as well. and we've found that a person who stalks somebody they've never met before typically has major mental illness, meaning some sort of psychotic condition, a thought disorder. but on top of it, they also often have personality problems like narcissism. >> i read all the interviews that the schaeffers have done, and it helped me understand what i've done. and it's just so devastating. i guess i was insecure and frustrated, and i took that out on rebecca. >> despite having mental illness, okay, he's quite capable of knowing what he's doing. he clearly knew it was wrong and having what i refer to as a criminal presence of mind.
>> i talked with professionals about this, about trying to explore the reasons why i did what i did. my warped thinking as far as taking in negative thoughts and putting blame on her. i think of all the things that she could have seen today, that she didn't get to live to see. and you know, it breaks my heart. >> rebecca's father doesn't care about what bardo feels or what he has to say. in fact, he won't even speak his name or talk about him. what those around her do care about, and what they've been fighting for since her death, is stronger and more effective gun control laws. >> we were all out of our minds with grief. it was, like, this is so horrible, we've got to make a difference. >> as a tribute, pam dawber gathered the cast of "my sister sam" for a public service announcement. >> we are the cast of "my sister sam." now one of us is gone forever. rebecca schaeffer was only 21 years old when her life was taken by a single shot from a handgun. >> how did that lunatic get a gun?
>> a lot of the polls show that people are concerned, like yourself, and yet this is a very emotional issue, a very controversial issue. any fears on your part in getting involved and speaking out? >> yeah, you're taking a chance, but i couldn't live with myself and say she was a wonderful girl, and we loved her and miss her and not try to affect it. i'm not saying people shouldn't have guns, but people have got to be screened. it was a very political stance. i testified in front of congress on behalf of saner gun laws. >> the availability of guns in the united states is a public health hazard. >> we shouldn't have the kind of weaponry that we do. >> there are hundreds of millions of handguns in the united states. we do not need to be a gun society. >> that gun issue is an ongoing debate, but stalking has now been clearly criminalized.
>> and yet, 30 years later, many celebrities are still falling victim and have horrible stories to tell, like former "dancing with the stars" winner shawn johnson. >> he, in his state of delusion, thought that i was the mother of his unborn children. it was like i was watching a horror film. >> no his car, zip ties, duct tape. weapon, gun, naive, we can only imagine. i was thinking... could there be another around the corner? or could it turn out differently? i wanted to help protect myself. my doctor recommended eliquis. eliquis is proven to treat and help prevent another dvt or pe blood clot... almost 98 percent of patients on eliquis didn't experience another. ...and eliquis has significantly less major bleeding than the standard treatment. eliquis is fda approved and has both. don't stop eliquis unless your doctor tells you to. eliquis can cause serious and in rare cases fatal bleeding. don't take eliquis if you have an artificial heart valve
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disbelief. how could this happen? >> most stalking victims? women, who are no strangers to the people harassing them. her terrifying 911 call playing out in court this week as her alleged stalker faces 19 felony charges. >> scare for pop star katy perry, an alleged stalker arrested. >> christina grimmie, the rising young voice star, gunned down at a performance. >> i don't think any celebrity is immune from a stalker. but the more successful a celebrity is, the better they're able to afford an entourage to insulate them from the danger that a stalker might pose. >> as horrible as the rebecca schaeffer murder was, some good came of it. the rebecca schaeffer murder was actually the tipping point for the first anti-stalking law.
the dmv is now restricted from providing confidential information on license holders. >> in 1991, the lapd created the threat management unit to provide a resource to high profile individuals who were stalking victims. >> the change of the laws after rebecca's murder were in some sense comforting. >> as the gun issue continues to be debated, laws against stalking are now on the books. and yet so many celebrities still find themselves victims with some shocking stories to tell, like former "dancing with the stars" winner shawn johnson. >> so shawn johnson was a star gymnast from the 2008 olympics in beijing. in the glory of her olympic win, she appears on "dancing with the stars" opposite mark ballas. and it leads to great success. so this is a dream that came true for her. >> i was such a reserved and conservative and just sheltered 16-year-old.
i hadn't been, you know, up close to a guy, and here's mark ballas, and he's like, "okay, we're gonna learn how to ballroom dance and be very like close and intimate." and i remember being just like, "oh, my gosh." >> what she doesn't know is that across the country, in florida, in a trailer park, a 34-year-old man named robert o'ryan is becoming focused, obsessed with her and her performances. so he decides to leave florida and to drive across the country and to confront/meet johnson on the set of the show. o'ryan is stopped by cops in alabama on his way across the country and tells cops as they question him that he's on his way to california to meet shawn johnson. >> i know this sounds a little bit crazy, but my intuition tells me that we're gonna have a beautiful relationship together. >> police who encounter him have no legal reason to stop and hold robert o'ryan. so he continues on his way to california. >> march 25, 2009 was just like
every other day at the beginning. and it just feeling normal. i mean, there was nothing crazy that i saw going on. i was just giddy and on cloud nine being able to be there for another dance and another week. >> robert o'ryan's obsession with johnson reaches a head and explodes on the lot at cbs, where he is stopped by security guards as he's attempting to meet her. >> i remember people acting strange. am i getting voted off? did i do something wrong? and i remember walking into my trailer and seeing fbi agents. my parents, my mom was crying. i remember looking at my parents, being very confused thinking, "is there a death in the family? like what's going on?" and they're like, "you need to sit down. we need to have a conversation. we need to tell you. you have a stalker. he broke onto the set. he was tackled on the stage. he was arrested and taken off property." >> o'ryan was stopped by
security after allegedly jumping the fence. >> in this car they find zip ties, they find duct tape. authorities find weapons, guns, knives. they also find love letters where johnson's name was hyphenated with his name. so o'ryan tells authorities that he had no intention of harming johnson, but that he would have killed anybody who got in the way of them getting together. >> he, in his state of delusion, thought that i was the mother of his unborn children. it was like i was watching a horror film. >> so there are similarities between rebecca schaefer's case and shawn johnson's case. they were young women really rising up. they were finding their careers. they were getting breaks. >> it's the same story that i went through and i was just very fortunate. >> in an instant, johnson's life changes. >> i had to have a different car. i had to move place -- like move homes. i had to have a different cell
phone. i had to have a full time body guard. >> a year later, shawn johnson goes to court and faces down her stalker at trial. >> the first time i heard every detail of his master plan was when i was actually in court and i had to face him. that was probably, for me, more traumatizing than the actual event. it was almost like i had lost the fight, because i had to literally sit there in front of him and hear his plans and hear his story. >> she finds him gawking at her the entire time, and she can't help but feel, inescapably, that he has won, that he has gotten what he wanted. >> i felt so just dirty. >> you'll have absolutely no contact with shawn johnson either in person, in writing, telephonically, or electronically.
>> in the end, ryan is sent to a mental institution by the judge where he spends five years. in the case of rebecca schaeffer, her murderer, stalker is in prison and will stay there. in this case, the man who had come after johnson is out. he can find her. he's barred from doing so, but there's nothing that would stop him from perhaps trying to meet with her again. >> i have been walking down the street, and if someone even resembles robert o'ryan, i go into just a cold sweat. i met my husband, and we kind of went down a path of digital media. we chronicle our life for the world. >> so despite what happened to her, shawn johnson elects to live her life on social media with a huge audience who knows her every move. she's just not afraid. >> if i lock myself away from the world, he wins. i don't ever want to feel like i've let him win.
we want to show the world that you can have traumatic things happen to you but you can move on. >> announcer: the winners and champions of "dancing with the stars" are shawn and mark. >> when i was announced as the winner of "dancing with the stars," it was the greatest feeling ever. winning that show, having gone through all of it, having come out on the other side, it just felt like the greatest victory. >> we have never seen rebecca's mother, danna schaeffer, speak about her grief until now. >> mrs. schaeffer, i have little things
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and i had felt guilty about that for all those years. so i spoke to both benson and danna. and they're just wonderful people. and they're together and they've found a way to navigate through this. >> it's now been 30 years since rebecca schaeffer's death. the idea that she might still be alive in people's hearts, the idea that who she was as she walked on the earth is still remembered, i think is a powerful thing for many survivors. danna schaeffer, rebecca schaeffer's mom, has always been a writer. and just a few years ago wrote a one-woman show about her daughter called "you in midair." >> 1989 begins beautifully. rebecca's now 21 and she is a working actor in hollywood. she co-starred in a sitcom for two years called "my sister sam." >> she talks about her
daughter, her daughter's life, and her daughter's murder in a candid and very emotionally affecting way. >> it was, from my point of view, a way of keeping rebecca alive in some way. >> mrs. schaeffer, i have terrible news. this morning rebecca was shot and killed. >> danna is super brave, to produce and perform in her show. she does an amazing job. she wanted to do it, and i think that she needed to do it. >> we throw things into suitcases we were crying so hard. we can't see what we're doing. kleenex is no match for these tears. we use dish towels. >> you know that she would've contributed mightily. she couldn't wait to have children of her own and a career. i don't know how her parents bear it. >> she is forever fixed in our mind as the beautiful
21-year-old. every time we see a picture of her, she's young and lively and fresh. but that's not how life works. we miss her perhaps as an actress. those who loved her will always miss her as a person and for the unexplored potential that she as a human being had. >> hollywood lost a rising star, and the world lost an angel. a mother and son rescued from their balcony after a fire at their east bay apartm